"The idea that men are created free and equal
is both true and misleading: men are created different;
they lose their social freedom and their individual autonomy
in seeking to become like each other."
by:
David Reisman
American Sociologist
Rating:
Categories:
 
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
Perfect!
 -- Robert, Sarasota     
  •  
    We lose freedom and autonomy with each new law passed. Even if you are not immediately affected, eventually you will be.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  •  
    A perceptive insight. I wonder if Reisman might have added in another sentence that humans also surrender a little freedom purposely in respect and appreciation of others' needs.
     -- Dick, Fort Worth     
  •  
    Conformity is usually voluntary. It's getting out afterwards that becomes the challenge.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
  •  
     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    It is so true that individuals, paradoxically, think they are expressing their independence by making like the crowd. How else do fads and fashions take hold? Why would a kid wear his cap backwards? Wby do teens take up smoking? Why do women abuse their feet by wearing tight, pointy, spike-heel shoes? They are expressing themselves by being like everyone else. There is no justification for any of them. It's the lemming syndrome.
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
  • 1
  •  
    No one loses freedom or autonomy by imitating another. They choose freely to do so, and can freely choose to do otherwise. Tyranny from without brings loss of freedom.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
  •  
    David, please explain "tyranny from without". I only understand tyranny as an oppressive government, which is from within by definition. Do you mean where an outside government takes over another government? ...but then it becomes inside too. I just can't visualize an outside tyranny until it makes itself an inside force. That is usually the result of war.
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
  •  
    Actually, it is sometimes erroneous to label as government a regime that exercises tyranny over a population. When pirates came ashore, armed and rabid, taking control of towns and sacking them, they usually left after getting what they had come for. In the case of Cuba, they came ashore, armed and rabid, took control, looted, sacked, and never left again. Does that mean they became a government? Some might say so; I reject the idea. Think of tyranny "from without" as opposed to the individuals' decision, from within himself, to imitate others.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
  •  
    I remind you, David, I said PARADOXICALLY, people THINK they are expressing independence,, when actually they are followers. That's how fads get started. Very few people express themselves independently, and fewer get emulated. That's the essence of Reisman's quote, with which you have said you disagree He said,"...both true and misleading" That's the paradox. I agree wholeheartedly and I refer back to my examples
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
  •  
    Jack, you can arrive at whatever conclusions please you, but that does not increase their validity. If you imitate someone elses actions or style, you are free to change the next moment or the next day, and then you could even take the initiative, to create your own style. You are free at every moment.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
  •  
    Careful, David, you are beginning to sound liberal. By your own admittance, we cannot be trusted to be free. Why contradict yourself now? Man is vile and depraved -- remember? Thank goodness we have saints to rule over us -- er, wait a minute, remind me, who can we trust again? All I see are other humans...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  •  
    Where do you see the contradiction? Oh, that's right, there is no contradiction, in fact, but only your inability to maintain a clear view of the picture. Sorry, Archer, but I think there might be a medicine for you, or maybe just stop smoking pot for a while and it might all clear up for you. Good luck.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
  •  
    I believe 'in becoming like others' infers a Democracy. Democracies' promote the right of majority might, as though it is divine. In the collective, individual autonomy / sovereignty and social freedom do not exist. Archer, for information's sake only, 'Saints' originally were the lay (common man)adherents of Christ, complete with sins, transgressions, need of improvements, etc., not the perfect or near perfect super humans that the term has come to infer. So, your comment was actually more accurate than you may have known. As the saying goes (referencing trust) "In God we trust, all others pay cash."
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
    This is ' nature v nurture' debate expressed in a slightly different way. We are social beings as well as individuals. To act in society we need a degree of conformity unless you want to become a hermit. Maybe some of you are?
     -- Mick, Manchester     
  •  
    The comparison or homogenizing word salad is a misdirection of apples and oranges.The idea that men are created free (liberty being a lawful faculty of birth) and equal before the law is an absolute truth. Attempting to confuse the secular absolute with a religious ideology is the apple and orange hmmm; WHAT? Of course men are created different while each and every maintains their individual sovereign inalienable rights. Social freedom, is an oxymoron and misnomer of collectivist gods and slaves. Individual autonomy is personally managed, even if it seeks to become like everyone else.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
     
    Rate this quote!
    How many stars?
    0
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5

     
    What do YOU think?
    Your name:
    Your town:
        CLICK JUST ONCE!

    More Quotations
    Get a Quote-A-Day! Free!
    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box.
    RSS Subscribe
    Quotes & Quotations - Send This Quote to a Friend

    © 1998-2019 Liberty-Tree.ca